>> welcome to aljazeera america. i'm stephanie cy and here are the stories we're following for you. the unrest is spreading in ukraine. despite concessions from the country's president, protesters are taking to the streets in a growing number of cities. as negotiators try to understand how to help people devastated by war, people at home are trying to help. >> you're tired of looking at a bad rug, you want to throw it out. >> and he made headlines during
hurricane katrina. and now a former new orleans mayor is charged with corruption. his trial begins today. >> a third day of peace talks is underway in geneva, but the coalition wants talk about bres bashar al-assad handing over power, but they won't hand over the keys to damascus. safe passage for women and children, but that deal was a unilateral one. they're calling for humanitarian aid to get into the city. today, the u.n. pressed them for aid. >> the convoy of food and
non-food items and medical supplies. there is no decision yet. i am asking the two parties to consider doing something about all of these areas that are surrounded by one side or the other. and these people are really suffering inside. so i'm still begging, asking,. >> aljazeera's nick schiffrin, has more from geneva. >> well, there's a real chasm in geneva, and it nears the one in syria. very brutal fighting inside of syria. and here we get a divergence of
opinions on the aspects of the conference. first part is the political transition in syria. in order to come to this conference, all sides have to agree to discuss the transitional government. that's al-assad. and assad said that he's going to talk about running for election in the future. the other topic today is humanitarian assistance. and again, the two sides are very far apart. government wants to allow women and children outside of the city. and the coalition wants to talk about humanitarian assistance, getting water and food and medicine into homes. and we fear that the regime would come in after the women and children leave the city and hit all of the men inside of the city. today we heard from the spokesman for the syrian national council and he said he's trying to trust the mediators here, trying to negotiate with the two sides, but he still can't trust the government. >> here we are now, doing those
agreements under the united nations management. so there should be guarantees of course that the regime should go to safety. but our position, we don't agree that these people should be going on the of the city. the information is they should stay in the city and get the food in their homes. this is their right. >> meanwhile on the ground, the u.s. said that it resumed it's non-lethal supplies. officials tell me that trucks of medical supplies and blankets are flowing to the opposition, but president obama has been very clear, no lethal aid going to the opposition, officially, so right now, there's a stalemate on the ground, and it's not clear that either side would have to budge, given the stale maintain here with talks in geneva. >> nick schiffrin in geneva, and demonstrators are calling for change in ukraine's government while the government
has offered some concessions, the opposition said they aren't enough. jennifer glass is in kiev, and how is the government react being given the fact that the demonstrations are growing? >> we saw president yanokovych offer concessions to the senior government. and that was a turnaround for the president. opposition turned back down on saturday night and we haven't heard from the president since. on tuesday, there's an emergency session of parliament here, and everyone is waiting to see what that will do. the opposition is hoping to see the draconian laws repealed. and the opposition said that makes the country a dictatorship. and they would like to see dres yanokovych step down immediately, certainly this year. and we're not sure exactly what will happen, but ut government has to be listening as protests
have spread across this country in the last couple of days. tens of thousands of people coming out and taking over what are essentially statehouses in a number of regions across the ukraine, and so this opposition is growing and growing and growing, and tomorrow, we'll get a sense of what the government intends to do about it, and what the parliament intends to do. >> stephanie, what are the demands of the opposition? >> well, they want change. they want real change. they want to see response from people that ruled them. and they feel they have been left behind. not only would they like to see laws passed last month repealed that limit their freedom of basic human rights here. they also want to see a change in government. they want to see early presidential leaks. corruption is one of the biggest problems here in the ukraine. they have been named one of the most corrupt in europe.
and for two months they have been demonstrating against the government and they hope that now they have momentum, something is got happen tomorrow. >> the latest information from edward snowden suggests that the u.s. is spying on private companies in germany. the former nsa contractor said that they have been spying on businesses competing with u.s. firms, and snowden said he believes u.s. agents want to kill him, referring to anonymous comments recently posted on a government website. former new orleans mayor, ray nagin, became a familiar face during hurricane katrina. now he's facing federal bribery charges, accused of taking contracts. a jury selection is underway. good afternoon. >> hey there, stephanie. ray nagin walked into federal court a few hours ago, seemingly
all smiles and comfortable with his attorneys. when asked if he had comments about the case, he said, i wish i could. meanwhile, 150 potential jurors are being questioned right now. 12 of whom will decide the former mayor's fate. within a few days of hurricane katrina, the entire world knew of mayor ray nagin. >> he said mr. president, get your ass down here, and everybody cheered him. >> but he was soon criticized for his lack of decisions and followthrough. now it seems that he has a plea deal and is ready to put his fate in the hands ever the jury, in a state where many blame him for crippling their recovery. >> a lot of people did not feel that the rebuilding was going as expeditiously and smoothly as
they would like, and it was a difficult process. >> with the city still in shambles, nagin shifted his re-election approach, making a plea for new orleans to return to a "chocolate city." >> what he did was play the race card. and the issue became about the right to return, and that resonated with african-americans who had been displaced. >> people said they like the direction we're going in. >> but by 2011, six people he contracted with had pled guilty to bribery charges involving the former mayor. >> this corruption may have had his roots early, but it took hold in the second four years when all of the money started coming in. and all of the shady contractors came around and are started she'sing up to him. >> you have to let contracts in the city. and for a certain fee, i'll give you this contract. >> last year, the federal jury
indicted nagin, saying that he took $200,000 in money and personal favors from city contractors, who are now set to testify against him. >> what ray nagin has to do during this trial is convince these 12 jurors that roughly half a dozen of his former friends are now lying to help themselves >> reporter: that may prove you have to in a town perfect wounds have not healed. >> you're looking at a bad drug, and you want to throw it out and you want to see it taken away by the trash guy. they want to see him pay for what he did. >> if he has to pay, it won't be in dollars. it will be in months and years in prison. now, the jury pooled from 13 surrounding parishes seems to be very diverse both by age and race. right now, the prosecutors and the defense attorneys are asking
them questions about their potential objectivity should they be selected to be on the jury. stephanie, the trial is set to go two or three weeks should a deal not be made before them. >> all right, ben, thank you. congressman trey radle resigned today after pleading guilty to cocaine possession last year. the ethics committee launched an investigation into when radle broke any rules. and he was set to undergo abuse treatment. and two men offering a bit coin exchange. ceo of by the instant and an alleged coconspirator are is hing 1 billion dollars in currency on the black market. it was shut down in september. >> some gay couples say now is
the time to fight for their right to wed. >> instead of saying this is my life partner and this is my wife, it would be very gratifying. >> the latest state being sued over the right to marry. president obama gives his state of the union tomorrow night and what he's issuing to congress. and medicaid in one of the largest states in the country.
>> welcome back to aljazeera america. i'm stephanie sy. president obama faces a politically divided congress as he prepares for tuesday's state of the union address. the president is expected to demand economic equality for all americans, and his top advisers say that he's ready to take executive action to make that happen. libby casey is on capitol hill, and what are we expecting to
hear from the president in the state ut union. >> president obama has pledged to make 2014 a year of action, and he has pledged tools, a pen to sign actions and a phone to drum up support for what he does. we have a preview from what the president might outline, and we of course heard from republican push back. >> the president will lay out several steps on how we can deal with restoring opportunity for all americans. the minimum wage, we talked about how to lift more americans out of poverty. more good jobs, and more skills for workers of the there's a lot we can do, and we have had bipartisan support in the past. >> if president obama wants to give an honest, candid state of the union this week, he'll address the fact that his economic policies are not work, and they're hurting the people who are struggling the most. >> the issues that are likely it come up. immigration, and there are areas
that the president is worried about that can't move forward without congress. energy, climate issues, and the equality issues that he's talking about so much these days. >> meanwhile, libby, the white house has announced the guests who will be in attendance with the first lady during the speech can you tell us about that. >> two people that will be with the first lady, survivors of the boston marathon, jeff bauman, who lost both of his legs, and carlos, who came it his aid. and it became something of a visual image that represented the survivors of the boston marathon bombing. in his cowboy hat, helping jeff bauman in the wheelchair. and the authorities who tracked down who the bombers were. another man who will sit with the first lady, jason
collins, an nba player who came out last year as gay, and the first to do so. and a 15-year-old who got national attention at the white house who years ago, he was at the white house and he had a marshmallow cannon. and the president used it. he calls himself a maker, someone who uses his free time to make cool stuff. and it's a trend that's growing across the country. and he just became the youngest intern at intel. so he's getting attention for both his creativity and his zest for taking on challenges. >> neat details. libby casey live in washington. and aljazeera america will have full coverage of the state of the union. for years, california's medicaid program has struggled to find doctors that accept low
income patients. a shortage of doctors threatens to make the search even harder >> reporter: jennifer hawn has always wanted to be a doctor. the daughter of immigrants, she's a first year medical it student with a strong desire to serve. >> ultimately, one of my major goals going into medicine was to hopefully work with underserved communities. >> but in the american system of for profit healthcare, medical tuition is extremely expensive and requires students like hawn to get big loans. >> we're acquiring a lot of debt, 40,000, $50,000 per year over four years, so close to $200,000 or more. >> reporter: hawn's studies atort university of california of riverside is in a state that is facing a severe shortage of doctors. dean of the medical school. >> because it's the fastest growing area of the state and because 40% of the doctors in
this area look like me, they're 55 years of age or older, we'll have a 5,000 physician deficit in five years. >> it's particularly severe for family doctors and pediatricians. they earn far less than cardiologists or orthopedic surgeons. many of them use to pay off medical school debts. so uc riverside is trying a bold experiment. the first in the nation. certainly students who choose care and practice in the community will get full scholarships. >> we basically give them medical school for free. at the end, if they are a primary physician in california for five years, the deal is closed. we basically reversed the financial incentives to try to get the results that our area of california and society in general needs. >> it's not just california that's facing a looming doctor
shortage. according to a recent report by the american association of medical colleges, there could be a nationwide shortage of 90,000 doctors before the end of the decade. >> the main reason for the doctor shortage, the country is getting older. >> over the course of the next 20 years, 10,000 doctors a day turn 60, and they're the ones that use the majority of healthcare services. >> reporter: to fill the gap, the u.s. will need a lot more innovative programs like uc riverside. and it will need a lot more dedicated students like hawn. aljazeera, riverside, california. >> on wall street, stocks trying to avoid another day of losses but the dow right now is down 75 points. it has lost almost 500 points in
the last two sessions. investigators are focus on the fed today. and they are worried that they can reduce their stimulus. the cold snap on new home sales. the sales fell 7% last month, the second decline. but for all of 2013, the new home sales were up 16%. apple tops the earnings calendar today. the period tends to be the best quarter for apple. sales of i phones and ipads were strong in the shopping season. and sales are up today. the economy is expected to give a lift to the auto industry. the dealerships forecast that 15 million new vehicles will be sold this year. and that's a 15% increase from last year. it stems from employment and increased home values. the price of gasoline has been dropping in the last weeks.
>> welcome back to aljazeera america. i'm stephanie sy, and here are today's headlines. disagreeing on how to help the people at home. government wants to evacuate, but aid should be into homes. it stems over a transitional government. anti-government protests are spreading throughout ukraine. some are demonstrating in eastern cities, which is the base of president yanokovych's support. the parliament is holding an
emergency meeting tomorrow. president obama will be addressing the nation tomorrow in his fifth state of the union. he's expected to tackle income inequality in the u.s. lawmakers taking action, and he's willing to use executive power to advance his agenda. voters in florida banned same-sex marriage, and now six gay and lesbian couples are challenging that law in court. >> they have two fathers. over the last 11 years, they have built a life together, even taking on the same last name, but now they want to get married. >> it's one piece of society and community that we have not been allowed to participate in, and we want the opportunity and the time is now. >> they have rings on their fingers but they want the paperwork to make the union more than symbolic. >> plus, when you get married,
your wedding band is worn on your left hand. and so until it happens, it will be worn on the right hand. >> the dell mays are among six same-sex couples in a lawsuit. >> so we stand here for those who have applied for marriage licensees and face the humiliation of being denied. >> reporter: the couples say that florida's ban on same-sex marriage is discriminatory and violates the u.s. constitution by denying them the rights afforded to heterosexual couples. the supreme court overturned key parts of the marriage act, maintaining that benefits cannot be denied to same-sex couples. in florida, 62% voted to
maintain against same-sex marriage. and since then, public opinion has changed. and opponents disagree. >> this lawsuit is a cheap hub lift stunt. millions of florida voters voted to respect marriage as between one man and a woman. and its troubling and disturbing that there are people out there with this hate. and this intolerance and this bigotry against the will of the people of florida >> reporter: still, couples like summer green and pamela farver, are hopeful. >> instead of saying this is my parn for my wife, it would be very gratifying, and we feel the time is now. >> reporter: but if the state chooses to fight the case, it's likely to take years for the court to settle it. >> all right, returning to another one of our top stories. saying that it's cold in parts of the country is an
understatement. with the winds, it feels like 20 below in some places, and old man winter is not pulling any punches. >> that's right. one after the other. and we're used to talking about it, but not used to the cold weather. the temperatures are dropping as the front moves south. you can see the front. line of light snow from pennsylvania-kentucky and out through the midwest and curving up through the eastern slope of the rockies. the bitter cold is pushing south. in the eastern part of canada, the high pressure is building in, and you get the gusty winds in between the two. north dakota, south dakota, minnesota and chicago, making the temperatures feel like they're down 20, 30 below, and maybe even 40, 50 below in some areas. windchills in that area above this line. but it's not as cold here, but you want to take precautions when you step outside. notice how the line goes through
eastern pennsylvania. this is the front moving to the south. and that cold air will eventually spread east. by monday night, it's over in the great lakes and pushing into new england. and it's in south dakota and minnesota. the cold air will eventually push south. and that snow could hold together enough where we could see snow across the southeast. these are the real temperatures. 35 in minnesota. 0 in albany. mild in philadelphia, 34, and the temperatures will be dropping as the cold air moves in. into the teens on tuesday, and wednesday, back up to 24. and the snow will push south, causing troubles on the roadways tomorrow. if. he. >> for one night in oklahoma, a children's hospital transforms into a winter wonderland for patients. this is the prom theme. the winter dance was put together for children of all ages.
some of the patients are battling cancer, they got to put together outfits, and they had stylists put on makeup. i'm stephanie sy, "the stream" is coming up next. >> hi, i'm lisa fletcher, and you're in the stream. social media talk about life, but what about death? how we discuss changing one tweet at a time. bringing in the community program is our digital